Planes are static props that appear in various titles of the Need for Speed series. Helicopters have appeared in earlier games although planes didn't appear in any form until the Underground series.
Airplanes first appeared in Need for Speed: Underground and Need for Speed: Underground 2 flying around the cities' airports. Some Drag and Underground Racing League events take place on the runways at Bayview International Airport. During the prologue to Need for Speed: Underground 2, the plane the player travels on to Bayview resembles a Boeing 747.
In the Shift series, airplanes can be seen around various tracks.
Aircraft only appear in Stage 7 of Need for Speed: The Run. In Wisconsin, a yellow plane sprays pesticide over crops. In Chicago, commercial planes are seen in the vicinity of O'Hare International Airport.
Hodges Airfield is an abandoned airfield near Dormer's Canyon in Fairhaven City with numerous wrecked aircraft and hollowed out fuselages scattered around the airfield. Hughes International Airport is the only operating airport in Fairhaven with 2 terminals; one open and one under construction.
Carville International Airport is an international airport in Need for Speed: Payback. Planes resembling Boeing 767s can be seen around the airport and taking off from the airport as well as flying above Fortune Valley.
- Along the route of The Run, there are billboards for a fictitious airline called Bullet America Airlines.
- Jetstream, a fictitious airline, has advertisements in Fairhaven City. The same airline has jets parked at Hughes International Airport.
- A Bullet America Airlines billboard appears in Need for Speed: Payback near the 'Fight The Power' event in Silver Rock.